Wellington - Veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori will miss New Zealand's tour to South Africa starting later this month because of an Achilles tendon injury.
The 33-year-old Vettori, who has taken 359 wickets in 111 Tests, picked up the injury during the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September. He has since missed New Zealand's most recent tours to the West Indies, India and Sri Lanka - a total of seven test matches.
New Zealand will play two Tests, three one-day matches and three Twenty20 internationals against the Proteas from December 21.
Vettori's withdrawal comes at a time when the team is facing a leadership crisis. New Zealand Cricket is expected to announce within days whether Ross Taylor will remain as Test captain or hand over to Brendon McCullum.